Population growth and response to calamities

In our 2nd and last discussion on population and life tables, I would like to focus on the importance of monitoring population growth.

Proper monitoring of age structures of different populations allows us to project if it is expanding (rapidly or slowly), or if it is stable, or if it is declining. Developed nations often have stable populations, as reproduction does not cause undue stress to the production of these countries. Considering, however, that we are beyond the carrying capacity of the planet, we may want to consider interventions that would result to a decline in population over time.

In Ecology, predictions of modifications in the fecundity or survivorship and its effect on population growth or decline can be made by computing for net reproductive rate or intrinsic rate of increase.

These equations help model if interventions in policy, response to calamities, or plagues can have long term effect on population sizes. There used to be a time when nations were considering (some actually implemented) limiting the number of children that families could have. It was predicted that one-child policies would lead to drastic declines in population, but of course, implementation is often different from models.

These models will eventually help us determine the impact of Covid19 in our population sizes. Countries are bracing for gigantic economic impacts, but we must also note the status of our population sizes as this pandemic takes its toll on various societies.

For a more holistic discussion on the history of human population growth, please watch this SHE-ensya video:

Thank you so much for dropping by!

If you have any questions, queries or requests, please don’t hesitate to let me, your resident Filipina scientist, know in the comments section below.

And remember, when in doubt, always use your (con)science!

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